BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) – Bath Spa University

Music (Jazz)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W343 or W344
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC, including grade C in Music or a related subject

View "typical offers" for more information.

A specialist jazz course offering a wide range of performance opportunities for instrumentalists and singers.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Enhance your jazz skills with this busy performance course featuring classes in improvisation, transcription and arranging.
  • Perform publicly and enjoy instrumental and vocal masterclasses from leading jazz professionals.
  • Kick-start your career with guidance from a team of professional lecturers and tutors, all of whom are working jazz musicians.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

As a Jazz student at Bath Spa University, you'll be part of an established Music department with a long history of working with world class musicians and composers.

The focus of the course is to prepare you as an improvising musician for a career in the jazz music industry. This is achieved by delivering a dynamic and practical curriculum tailored to your individual strengths and interests.

You'll explore performance, improvisation, composition, music production, education and marketing. Instrumental/vocal tuition and the performance experience are at the heart of the course, offering you a focused learning experience guided by a team of professional lecturers and tutors who are all working jazz musicians.

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“Having the opportunity to play in multiple ensembles (big bands, jazz ensembles etc.) allowed me to practise the practical side of the course whilst classroom-style theory lessons introduced me to new ways of thinking about the music.”

Doug Wells, Trumpet

What you'll learn


Elevate your instrumental and vocal performance skills to an advanced standard through regular one-to-one lessons, practical workshops and numerous ensemble and band opportunities. You'll also benefit from weekly classes in standard and contemporary repertoire, jazz harmony, aural, history and analysis, transcription, arranging and composition.

Industry-led professional development is essential to the course. We'll focus on music production, education, marketing and promotion during regular masterclasses and workshops with major visiting artists. 

You'll also benefit from regular public performance opportunities at our Bath city centre arts venue, together with opportunities to create and promote your own group and augment your skills in band leadership.

Course structure

Year one
The first year provides a grounding in all aspects of music. One-to-one lessons in performance focus on instrumental/vocal technique, and you'll also benefit from workshops in rhythm and improvisation, jazz theory and harmony classes and aural analysis. You'll study composition - notation, arranging, free composition and music technology, and musicology - history, style and context. You'll also benefit from a study of the music of other cultures in our Global Music module.

Year two
The focus is employability; as a professional musician, you'll need to be industry-aware, and the option to undertake a work placement supports this in your second year. You'll embark on Jazz Studies 1 and 2 - critical listening, transcription and arranging, and Performance – one-to-one lessons, solo and group performance workshops. Optional modules include Composition and Music Research, where you'll focus on music in its cultural contexts and undertake fieldwork in the area of jazz practice.

Year three
Throughout the course, working as an ensemble is fundamental to the process of learning, both through small and large groups. As you progress, greater performance independence is encouraged. In Performance, you'll experience advanced solo and group performance workshops, plus public performances. In Jazz Studies 3 and 4, you'll investigate issues in jazz and jazz performance, as well as undertaking independent jazz research in your chosen area. In Composition (optional), you'll undertake a project-based composition for jazz ensembles. Independent Study (optional) comprises a creative/practical research project or dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through recitals and technical studies, practical ensemble assessments and coursework in the form of written work, transcriptions, arrangements and free composition. 

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught in collaborative lecture/seminar/workshop sessions guided by tutors and peers, as well as one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, ensemble/group rehearsals and coaching sessions.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Performance 1
  • Composition 1 (Technology)
  • Musicology 1 (Historical Contexts)
  • Performance 2
  • Composition 2 (Instruments)
  • Musicology 2 (Global Contexts)

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Professional Musician
  • Performance 3
  • Composition 3 (Methods)
  • Musicology 3 (Specialist Study)
  • Jazz Studies 1
  • Stage Skills for Singers 1
  • Performance 4
  • Composition 4 (Collaboration)
  • Music Analysis
  • Music Psychology
  • Jazz Studies 2
  • Community Music Practice
  • Opera Project 1
  • Work placement
  • Song Production
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Independent Study 1
  • Independent Study 2
  • Performance 5
  • Composition 5 (Contexts)
  • Musicology 4 (Specialist Studies)
  • Stage Skills for Singers 2
  • Jazz Studies 3
  • Community Music - Professional Music Leader
  • Performance 6
  • Composition 6 (Event)
  • Jazz Studies 4
  • Opera Project 2
  • Music Psychology - applied and experimental
  • Composition for Media


Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including the USA and Germany.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked with major artists such as Jason Rebello (piano) Iain Ballamy (saxophone) Asaf Sirkis (drums) Andy Sheppard (saxophone) Nigel Price (guitar) Derek Nash (saxophone) and Xantone Blacq (piano).


Freelance musicians enjoy varied portfolio careers in areas including performing and teaching.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Community Music is taught at Newton Park's Michael Tippett Centre, which has numerous ensemble rehearsal spaces, a concert hall and practice rooms. 

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including: 


You'll have access to practice and rehearsal spaces equipped with pianos, including three Steinway grand pianos.

We have a percussion studio with all orchestral and band instruments and a wide range of orchestral instruments, for example soprano and baritone saxophones, flutes and clarinets that you can borrow, together with keyboards, amps, etc.

The Library and the Music Department have a large collection of band and ensemble scores and parts.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for talented instrumental and vocal performers who are passionate about Jazz. We value commitment to learning, so the ability to be open to challenges is an important trait that we look for in candidates.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A-level – grades CCC including grade C in Music or a related subject
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma in Music or related subject accepted at grade Merit, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 26 points required in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.

You should be at or working towards Grade 8 in Music Practical and Grade 5 in Music Theory. We'll consider applicants without these qualifications if they can demonstrate at audition that they have ability to this standard or are very close.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 – for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

The Music department interviews and auditions all applicants.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Adam Biggs

Three year course

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